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Advancing Livability Principles: Federal Investment Reform Lessons from the Chicagoland Experience

During a time of historic economic change, the strength of the Chicagoland region – or any region across the nation, for that matter — depends on smart federal investment strategies.  As more and more communities need resources to fund outdated infrastructure, deal with the foreclosure crisis, retrain workers, and respond to climate change, it’s no longer acceptable to dole out funding based on politically contrived formulas. Our public resources need to be directed where they will have the greatest benefit and most significant return, as well as reward innovation and collaboration. Federal investments should put communities on a clear path to a more socially equitable, environmentally sustainable, and economically competitive future.

Advancing Livability Principles: Federal Investment Reforms Lessons from the Chicagoland Experience, drafted by MPC in partnership with the Center for Neighborhood Technology, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, and the Regional Transportation Authority, outlines the partners’ collective ideas for putting the Obama administration’s joint-agency livability principles into action, and showcases the Chicago region’s successes as models for nationwide implementation of federal investment policies that are goal-oriented, right-sized, and coordinated. 

MPC staff presented a preview version of the paper to the federal officials – EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Transportation Secy. Ray LaHood, Shelley Poticha for Housing and Urban Development Secy. Shaun Donovan, and Adolfo Carrion, director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs — who spoke at the Council’s 2009 Annual Luncheon in September. The final version, released in October 2009, features comments made by each of the speakers during the MPC event.